O’Reilly uses hate group shooting to exonerate himself in abortion doctor’s murder
By David Edwards
Friday, August 17, 2012 13:27 EDT
During a Thursday interview where Tony Perkins blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for the recent shooting of a Family Research Council (FRC) employee, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly took the opportunity to insist he did not “exacerbate” the situation that led to the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller by calling him a “baby killer.”
“Now you may remember back in 2009, some in the liberal press accused me encouraging the assassination of late-term abortionist George Tiller in Kansas,” O’Reilly said.
As PBS’ Now noted, O’Reilly had mentioned Tiller’s name on 27 episodes of his Fox News show, often calling him “Tiller the Baby Killer” without attributing the label to anyone. He also said Tiller had “blood on his hands,” was guilty of “Nazi stuff” and was “operating death mills.”
“I never called him a killer,” O’Reilly insisted on Thursday, even though PolitiFact found that the Fox News host had used the term “baby killer” to describe Tiller at least 24 times.
“I simply referred to what Tiller was doing in detail and the press hounded me for it,” O’Reilly continued, bringing on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins to talk about the most recent shooting.
“I believe that the Southern Poverty Law Center is responsible for creating an environment that led to this,” Perkins explained. “[Your critics are] saying you are using hate speech — well, the Southern Poverty Law Center — because they disagree with our position on marriage and certain religious issues — have labeled us a hate group, and that gives license to lunatics like this that come in and shoot innocent people.”
“It’s a shocking situation,” O’Reilly agreed. “And as we said in the Tiller situation, there’s no excuse for it. I didn’t exacerbate that situation.”
“And I don’t know about the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the self-proclaimed culture warrior added. “We will check that out. Absolutely.”
In a statement released on Thursday, Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow Mark Potok said that his organization “deplores all violence” and Perkins was just using the tragedy to “score points.”
“Perkins’ accusation is outrageous,” Potok wrote. “The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.”
Potok pointed out that Perkins had claimed that that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” and another official at the Family Research Council had said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.”
“Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, are using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC’s criticisms of the FRC and the FRC’s criticisms of LGBT people,” Potok Concluded. “The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false. It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor via Mediaite, broadcast Aug. 16, 2012.
Suspect in Washington shooting voiced political grudge
By Ian Simpson
WASHINGTON | Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:34pm EDT
(Reuters) – The man charged in a shooting at a conservative Christian lobbying group in downtown Washington told a guard “I don’t like your politics” before wounding him, according to court documents filed on Thursday.
Floyd Lee Corkins II, 28, of Herndon, Virginia, also was carrying 15 sandwiches from Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain, in Wednesday’s shooting at the Family Research Council, an affidavit said.
The Family Research Council strongly opposes same-sex marriage and abortion, and Corkins had been a volunteer at a Washington gay and lesbian community center. Chick-fil-A’s president has publicly opposed same-sex marriage.
Corkins’ parents told FBI agents that Corkins “has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner,” the affidavit from the FBI said.
In an initial court appearance, Magistrate Judge Alan Kay ordered that Corkins be held without bond and that he undergo a mental evaluation. A preliminary and detention hearing was set for August 24.
Corkins faces a District of Columbia charge of assault with intent to kill while armed and a federal charge of interstate transportation of a firearm and ammunition.
Corkins appeared in court subdued and dressed in white prison garb, his hands behind his back when he stood to address the judge. He told Kay he had about $300 and no property, and was assigned a public defender.
SHOT GUARD IN ARM
The affidavit said a security guard stopped Corkins at the door of the Family Research Council. A witness told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that Corkins then “stated words to the effect of, ‘I don’t like your politics,’” it said.
Surveillance camera footage showed that Corkins then pulled a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol from a backpack and shot the guard in the arm. The wounded guard wrestled the gun from Corkins and subdued him. A second guard called 911, the affidavit said.
Investigators recovered two more loaded magazines at the scene. They found another 50 rounds of ammunition and the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in Corkins’ backpack.
The complaint said that Corkins lived with his parents. He had left their car at a Virginia subway station before the attack.
Corkins faces up to 10 years in prison for the federal weapons charge and from five to 30 years for the District of Columbia offense.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told reporters “reckless rhetoric” from such organizations as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit civil rights group, had spurred the shooting.
The SPLC called Perkins’ charges “outrageous” and dismissed the suggestion that its criticism had incited violence.
“The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people – not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage,” the center said in a statement.
President Barack Obama and Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, along with groups across the political spectrum, have condemned the shooting.
(Editing by Anthony Boadle)
LGBT rights activist charged with shooting Family Research Council guard
By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, August 16, 2012 13:37 EDT
A gay rights activist has been charged with shooting and trying to kill a security guard at the Washington headquarters of a Christian conservative organization, judicial officials said Thursday.
Floyd Lee Corkins, a former volunteer with gay advocacy group “The DC Center for the LGBT Community,” faces up to 40 years in prison for allegedly wounding a security guard, Leonardo Johnson, at the Family Research Council.
Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier called Johnson a “hero” for stopping Corkins from injuring other FRC staff despite being wounded.
Corkins, a 28-year-old resident of Herndon, Virginia, was charged by Washington local authorities with “assault with intent to kill while armed,” which is punishable by a minimum of five and a maximum of 30 years in prison.
He has also been charged with the federal crime of transporting a firearm and ammunition across state borders — punishable by up to ten years.
The accused was to make his first court appearance at the US District Court in the capital later in Thursday.
The Washington community center where Corkins once volunteered issued a strong condemnation of the incident.
“I was shocked to hear that someone who has volunteered with the DC center could be the cause of such a tragic act of violence,” said the center’s director David Mariner in a release.
The center published an open letter on its website to “reject and condemn such violence” signed by over 40 local and national LGBT organizations.
The FBI had said that on Wednesday, an assailant walked into the FRC and shot a security guard in the arm before he was subdued.
Although authorities have yet to reveal the motives for the crime, several media outlets reported the assailant was carrying a bag from fast food chain Chick-Fil-A, which is embroiled in an ongoing national controversy over the firm’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
Rights group the Southern Poverty Law Center accuses the FRC of “defaming gays and lesbians… in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.”
Watch the video broadcast on ABC News on Aug. 15.
Read the full complaint below.
Colo. Shooting Prompts Gun Bills in Big States
Democratic leaders in three big states have used this summer’s mass shooting in Colorado to push bills that would crack down on assault weapons and ammunition sales, rekindling a debate that has not gained much traction in Congress or on the presidential campaign.
In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn proposed that his state enact a strict ban on assault weapons, similar to California’s. New York lawmakers have proposed wide-ranging legislation that would limit weapons purchases.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the Democratic state Senate leader back a bill that would make it more difficult and time-consuming to reload assault weapons. The chairmen of public safety committees in California’s Assembly and Senate co-authored a bill that would require dealers to report purchases of large quantities of ammunition to law enforcement authorities.
The suspect in the July 20 Colorado shooting, James Holmes, legally bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition online without raising authorities’ attention. He had four weapons, including an assault rifle, on him after the rampage that killed 12 people and injured 58 at a midnight movie screening.
“California sets the pace for the country. If there’s no action in Congress, we better do something here and hope it catches fire in other states,” said state Sen. Leland Yee, a San Francisco Democrat who authored the legislation that would slow down the process of reloading an assault weapon with a new magazine.
Michael Hancock: I wouldn’t use Aurora shootings to push gun control
Since James Holmes purchased an AR-15 assault rifle and shot twelve people dead in an Aurora movie theater, we’ve asked different local officials if they think stricter gun control laws could help prevent this kind of tragedy in the future. Recently, Denver mayor Michael Hancock told us that he would not use the mass shooting to push gun policy changes.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Hancock declined to speak out on gun control, offering only a general statement via his spokeswoman. His statement included this: “It makes sense to turn to the weapons but we must not forget the man behind the gun.”
|Mayor Michael Hancock and Police Chief Robert White marching together on Saturday.|
In the days following the tragedy that made national headlines, it was common for Colorado officials to avoid specific policy pushes before grieving families could bury their loved ones. But in the weeks since the Aurora shooting, Representatives Ed Perlmutter and Diana DeGette have both proposed policy changes, and a Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national coalition, has launched a television ad in Denver, calling on President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to offer a concrete solution to gun violence.
Hancock is part of that coalition — but, in an interview over the weekend, he said he does not agree with that kind of policy push on the heels of the July 20 attack.
“You know, that tragedy in Aurora, I would not use — and the reason why I did not speak out about it — I wouldn’t use it as a bully pulpit for political [reach],” Hancock said when asked if he supports the coalition’s ad campaign. “That suspect obtained those weapons legally. I certainly will stand firm against illegal guns…. The reality is this: If we want to talk about how we avoid situations like Aurora, let’s go to the heart of the problem and not the symptoms.”
We spoke to the mayor at a Peace March on Saturday focused on gang violence. In a speech at the rally, he said the problems of violence in Denver go far beyond questions of gun control.
“Obviously, we don’t want our young people to be carrying weapons. There’s no excuse for them to be carrying weapons — certainly, illegal gun possession,” Hancock said. “You can tell from my message today that I really believe this is much bigger than just gun control…. This is about individuals who have low sense of worth and purpose, where they can engage in activity that’s going to put them behind bars potentially for the rest of their lives or could end someone else’s life indiscriminately. So I think it’s much deeper. I think it’s about families, it’s about communities, it’s about self-worth, and we’ve still got to stay aggressive on the issues of gun control.”
About suspect James Holmes, Hancock said, “What you saw was the manifestation of some problems that went unaddressed…. We’re seeing now, as the stories are becoming known, that people knew he had psychological…psychiatric problems, and quite frankly, they didn’t respond appropriately and give him the help as well as to make sure…we prevented this kind of violence.”
Holmes doesn’t react to talk of struggling victims
By P. SOLOMON BANDA, Associated Press
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The suspect in the Aurora movie shooting showed no emotion in court Thursday as a lawyer discussed a charity’s efforts to distribute $4 million it raised for the victims.
James Holmes attended the brief procedural hearing in which the prosecution sought the judge’s permission to release contact information on the 12 people killed and 58 injured. Most documents in the case have been sealed, so even that step required Judge William Sylvester’s approval.
“People have been incapacitated or lost family members and are in dire financial straits,” prosecutor Rich Orman said.
The Colorado foundation Giving First raised the money for the victims and their families. Sylvester later ruled that another group, Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, could receive the contact information to give out the $4 million but only after the victims agreed. The organization must keep the information confidential.
Holmes was wide-eyed but didn’t show any reaction. He mostly looked ahead but glanced at Orman a few times.
During the half-hour hearing, Holmes looked around the room and straight ahead but didn’t focus on whoever was speaking. However, he did appear to be paying attention to the proceedings. He furrowed his brow when some in the courtroom laughed about a quip regarding the trustworthiness of using the U.S. Postal Service to notify each other of actions. When someone entered the hearing late, Holmes looked toward the door.
Also during the hearing, the University of Colorado, where Holmes was a graduate student, turned in 100 pages of documents requested by the prosecution, but one of Holmes’ lawyers, Tamara Brady, objected to the judge reading them. The prosecution wants access to the documents to help them make their case that a notebook Holmes sent to University of Colorado psychiatrist Lynne Fenton should be allowed into evidence. It reportedly contains descriptions of a violent attack.
Sylvester said he would take up the issue of whether he could view the documents on Aug. 23, pushing back scheduled arguments over whether prosecutors can have access to the notebook for yet another week.
Irish heroine of Batman shooting spree drowns
Thursday August 16 2012
US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle paid tribute to Jenny and her colleagues who are credited with saving the lives of some of those injured in the massacre.
PHD student James Holmes has been charged in relation to the shootings which left 12 people dead.
However, her family has now been plunged into a sense of grief of their own. Jenny was out swimming in a lake close to her home when she is believed to have drowned.
Her husband Greg Pinson and five-year-old son Jack are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a “wonderful mother”.
Her mother Brigid, who was unable to fly to Denver for the funeral, added: “I am heartbroken, it is just terrible, terrible. She was such a wonderful person who was just so full of life and a wonderful mother who loved Jack so much,” she said.
“I will miss her so much. Her brothers and sisters went over for the funeral and we had a little mass for her here. She could light up a room when she walked into it.”
Jenny studied to be a nurse in Denver in the nineties and decided to settle there.
Dave Mustaine: Obama Staged ‘Batman’ Massacre
“Like Fast and Furious down at the border”
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine is coming under fire for comments during a live show in which he suggested that the Obama administration could have been responsible for staging the ‘Batman’ massacre – but Mustaine’s remarks were echoed by none other than Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt.
During a concert in Singapore, Mustaine remarked that President Obama was trying to pass gun control legislation.
“So he’s staging all of these murders, like the ‘Fast And Furious’ thing down at the border, Aurora, Colorado, all the people that were killed there, and now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple,” said Mustaine, before adding, “I don’t know where I’m gonna live if America keeps going the way it’s going because it looks like it’s turning into Nazi America.”
Mustaine has since been savaged by numerous media outlets for his comments despite the fact that the Fast and Furious program, which saw the Obama administration put guns directly in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, has led to the murders of hundreds of people.
However, Mustaine’s suspicion surrounding the recent mass shootings was echoed by Gun Owners of America director Larry Pratt, a respected voice in the gun rights movement, who himself shared his own suspicions about the ‘Batman’ massacre during an interview with Alex Jones last month.
Norway PM under pressure after scathing Breivik report
By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 8:13 EDT
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was under pressure Wednesday in the wake of a scathing report on the authorities’ handling of the Anders Behring Breivik attacks that left 77 people dead.
Several polls published on Wednesday showed that a majority of Norwegians wanted Stoltenberg to stay on as prime minister, but between 19 and 30.7 percent of those surveyed said they thought he ought to resign.
Political analyst Frank Aarebrot, however, said the poll results were “not surprising”.
“Those who plan to vote for Stoltenberg (in the next election) want him to stay on, those who plan to vote to the right want him out,” he said.
Rightwing extremist Breivik on July 22, 2011 set off a car bomb outside the government offices in Oslo, killing eight people, before going to the island of Utoeya, northwest of the capital, where he spent more than an hour gunning down another 69 people, mostly teenagers, and wounding dozens of others.
An independent commission appointed by Stoltenberg to see what lessons could be learned from the authorities’ response submitted its report on Monday, primarily criticising the police’s slow and disorganised handling.
But it was also highly critical of the government.
Breivik report finds litany of errors by police
August 14, 2012
Norway’s police and intelligence services have been heavily criticised for not averting or at least disrupting the plot by Anders Behring Breivik to bomb Oslo and shoot unarmed teenagers at a youth camp, in the blunt findings of an independent inquest into the mass killings.
The panel’s 500-page report, published on Monday, chronicled what amounts to a litany of errors and blunders at nearly every level of law enforcement in Norway, which was traumatised by the scale and audacity of the attacks. Several top judicial and security officials have resigned over the failure to thwart Breivik.
While much of what was contained in the inquest commission’s report was already known, it revealed Norway’s internal intelligence service, the PST, had been informed by customs officials seven months before the attacks that Breivik had purchased a bomb-making chemical from Poland but the service did not act on that information.
About the Author: